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Percocet Addiction

PercocetPercocet, a prescription medication containing oxycodone, is a very powerful opiate-based painkiller. Although it is supposed to be used only in preset doses determined by a doctor, people have been known to misuse Percocet for a variety of reasons. In 2009, 9.3 percent of people were in need of treatment for drug or alcohol abuse, according to data from SAMHSA's National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The euphoric state produced by opiate compounds and misuse due to acquired tolerance to the drug are both common causes of abuse and addiction. If you have an addiction to the drug, you will likely need outside help to overcome it, and several factors come into play.

"The euphoric state produced by opiate compounds and misuse due to acquired tolerance to the drug are both common causes of abuse and addiction."


The abuse of opioid prescription painkillers is a serious problem affecting every facet of modern society. There are an estimated 36 million people globally battling an addiction to opioids. Sadly, most won’t get the help they need. If you or someone you know has a problem with Percocet abuse, call our hotline to learn about inpatient Percocet rehab facilities near you.

What is Percocet?

Percocet is a brand-name prescription painkiller. Its active ingredients are acetaminophen and the opioid oxycodone. While some opioid drugs such as morphine and heroin are developed naturally from the opium poppy plant, oxycodone is synthesized in a lab. Endo Pharmaceuticals purchased Percocet from The DuPont Merck Pharmaceutical Company in 1997. Doctors use Percocet as a painkiller, however, the drug can be so addictive, it is only legally available via prescription. Like other narcotics, Percocet is highly addictive because it attaches to the opioid receptors in the brain, triggering dopamine and associated feelings of happiness and euphoria.

Percocet is so powerful, in some cases those who begin taking it with a legitimate medical prescription end up developing Percocet addiction. Opioids like Percocet are also dangerous because of the associated side effects. Percocet is a depressant, which can cause slowed heart rate, slowed breathing and drowsiness.

Various Forms of Percocet

Percocet tablets are available in four strengths of oxycodone and include 325 mg of acetaminophen. Each form has a different maximum daily dose and appearance. Do not take more than 4000 mg of paracetamol per day, because of it's liver toxicity.

Oxycodone Hydrochloride, USP 2.5 mg: contains 325 mg of paracetamol, with table number 2.5, oval-shaped and pink colour.

Oxycodone Hydrochloride, USP 5 mg: contains 325 mg of paracetamol, with tablet number 0027, round shape and blue colour.

Oxycodone Hydrochloride USP 7.5 mg: contains 325 mg of paracetamol, with tablet number 229, round shape and peach colour.

Oxycodone Hydrochloride, USP 10 mg: contains 325 mg of paracetamol, with tablet number M2A4, round shape and white colour.

Like other drugs acting on the central nervous system, Oxycodone produces respiratory distress when it interacts with brain stem respiratory centers. Initial treatment starts with a 2.5/325 dose. One or two tablets are taken every six hours, according to the severity of pain, but daily dosage shouldn’t exceed 4 grams.

What is Percocet Used For?

Doctors prescribe Percocet to patients experiencing moderate to moderately severe pain. According to the Percocet drug label, the medication is only recommended if the pain is severe enough and alternative treatments won’t work. Patients may also require Percocet if they have not previously tolerated or are not expected to tolerate alternatives, or if alternatives have not or are not expected to provide adequate pain reduction. Percocet is not recommended for patients with: •Respiratory depression •Asthma •Sensitivity to oxycodone •Sensitivity to acetaminophen •Hypercarbia, or unusually elevated carbon dioxide levels •Paralytic ileus, or dysfunctional intestine due to intestinal muscle paralysis

What Does Percocet Look Like?

Percocet AddictionPercocet is only available in pill form. The tablets have the brand-name imprinted on one side, as well as the number of milligrams of oxycodone. When DuPont still owned Percocet, the pills also had the company name imprinted on them. Varying formulations of Percocet differ in the amount of oxycodone in each pill. The amount of acetaminophen stays consistent — 325 milligrams per tablet.

Percocet comes in several different concentrations that all have a unique look: •2.5 mg/325 mg – Pink, oval tablets with “Percocet” imprinted on one side and “2.5” on the other. •5 mg/325 mg – Blue, round tablets with “Percocet” imprinted on one side and “5” on the other. •7.5 mg/325 mg – Peach, oval tablets with “Percocet” imprinted on one side and “7.5” on the other. •10 mg/325 mg – Yellow, capsule-shaped tablets with “Percocet” imprinted on one side and “10” on the other.

Those who are involved in Percocet addiction may swallow the pills whole, chew them to increase absorption, or crush and snort the pills for faster entry into the bloodstream. Addicts often hide pills in plain sight in traditional orange pill bottles, but they also hide Percocet in mint tins, candy jars or crushed as a powder.

Percocet Street Names

While Percocet is legally available via a doctor’s prescription, those addicted to the drug also often get their supply on the streets, where the price per pill can range from $2 – $30. Addicts also sometimes buy Percocet online through the dark web, a sort of digital black market. To avoid tipping others off to their Percocet addiction or getting attention from police, people often use street names or slang terms to refer to Percocet. Some nicknames or slang for Percocet are: Percs Paulas Roxi Blue dynamite

Percocet is also a brand-name form of oxycodone, which carries its own street names:

  • O.C. Oxycet Oxycotton Oxy Ocs Hillbilly
  • Hillbilly heroin Poor man’s heroin

Other brand-names for oxycodone, besides Percocet, include:

  • OxyContin Roxicodone Percodan Endocet
  • Tylox

Proper Dosage Amounts

Percocet AddictionPercocet is available in several different formulations: •2.5 mg/325 mg – The adult dosage is one or two tablets every six hours as needed for pain management. The maximum daily dose is 12 tablets. •5 mg/325 mg – The adult dosage is one tablet every six hours as needed for pain management. The maximum daily dose is 12 tablets. •7.5 mg/325 mg – The adult dosage is one tablet every six hours as needed for pain management. The maximum daily dose is eight tablets. •10 mg/325 mg – The adult dosage is one tablet every six hours as needed for pain management. The maximum daily dose is six tablets. The maximum daily dose of acetaminophen is four grams.

Is Percocet Addictive?

Is Percocet addictive? Yes, Percocet is a highly addictive opioid analgesic or opioid-based drug that blocks some but not all pain. Oxycodone is one of two main ingredients in Percocet and is a synthetic opioid — a highly addictive substance. The body naturally creates opioids, which attach to special receptors in the brain and signal certain effects related to feeling and emotion, such as feelings of calmness and reduced pain. Opioid drugs like Percocet trick the brain into thinking they are natural opioids, latching onto the same opioid receptors and flooding the brain with dopamine, the neurotransmitter that causes these euphoric effects.

Dopamine is associated with pleasure and signals feelings of happiness but also affects motivation and cognition. While this effect is desirable in order to lessen pain, people can easily become addicted to this “high” and continue using opioids to carry on these feelings. While some purposefully abuse Percocet to get high, others may develop Percocet addiction even if they are using the drug medically as prescribed by their doctor. In some cases, Percocet addiction develops due to an increased tolerance.

As a person takes Percocet for pain management, it can soon require higher and higher doses to achieve the same effect. Continuing this habit for a long time can cause dependence on Percocet when a person feels like they can’t live without the drug. Dependence and Percocet addiction often occur at the same time.

For some, it takes even less time to develop Percocet addiction if they are recovering from addiction to another opioid such as heroin or hydrocodone. While most doctors will take a person’s drug use history into consideration before writing a prescription, some circumstances such as an allergy to other pain medications may cause a doctor to choose to prescribe Percocet.

Percocet addiction is dangerous to a person’s quality of life on multiple fronts. The danger of Percocet addiction can affect a person’s finances, relationships, career, education and, most importantly, their health. If you or a loved one is struggling with Percocet addiction, help is within reach. The Recovery Village offers personalized programs to treat Percocet addiction and other addictions.

What Causes Percocet Addiction and Abuse?

In the past, painkiller addiction was considered a problem for affluent people, who used drugs to cope with stress and other problems. Today, people with opioid misuse disorder can be found in classrooms, hospitals, pharmacies, street corners, medical professionals and law enforcement.

The first reason why people abuse drugs is that they enjoy the euphoric ‘high’ that accompanies the pain reduction factor of Percocet. Dopamine makes you feel good, relaxed and also ‘high’. The pleasurable feeling is addictive. You don’t want to ever stop feeling this way, so you take the drug more frequently than prescribed. When dependence sets in, you start ‘doctor shopping’ to acquire more of the drugs instead of informing your doctor, because you’re afraid of the effects of withdrawal symptoms.

The euphoric ‘high’ produced from taking Percocet is the same reason individuals with substance misuse disorders abuse opiates. They don’t take the drug orally, but crush the pill to snort, smoke or inject to increase the potency of the desired ‘high’. Other reasons for Percocet abuse include:

  • Using to cope with boredom
  • Self-medication for mental health disorder
  • Escaping problems
  • Improving self-confidence or ‘cool’ factor
  • Rebelling or attention- seeking

How Percocet Addiction and Abuse Affects the Brain and Body

Oxycodone binds to opiate receptors in the brain, spinal cord, and entire body. The effects are euphoric and analgesic. When you abuse opioids for a long time, it slows production of natural chemicals and prevents the body from naturally relieving pain, due to the super-abundance of narcotic chemicals in the brain. Most of the reduced chemicals include regenerated dopamine that makes you feel pleasure from simple activities you might enjoy.

To feel pleasure or perform basic functions, you’ll need to keep increasing your dosage of Percocet, because you’re experiencing chemical dependency, which mostly leads to addiction when your body stops producing natural chemicals to relieve pain. The brain is designed to naturally seek pleasure. When you take large quantities of Percocet, the brain is fooled into thinking it needs it to function and encourages you to continuously flood it with dopamine.

Who Becomes Addicted to Percocet?

Legitimate users who require round-the-clock pain relief, as well as sports stars dealing with an injury, post-surgery patients and those for whom another opiate medication hasn’t proved effective are not exempt from Percocet addiction. Scientists are yet to fully understand why people become addicted to prescription painkillers, even when they strictly follow doctor’s orders, but research suggests addiction risk factors might have a large role to play.

Finally, dual diagnosis patients (diagnosed with bipolar disorder, depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, PTSD and other mental health disorders) use opioids to self-medicate and keep any problems at bay.

Short-Term Effects of Percocet on the Body

The short-term side effects of Percocet abuse are similar to those of other opioids. You’ll feel sleepy, lightheaded and constipated. Your pupils will be pinpoint, your body itchy and your breathing slows down.

Other short-term side effects of abusing Percocet include:

  • Sedation
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Euphoria
  • Calmness
  • Pain relief

Long-Term Effects of Using Percocet

When you abuse Percocet for long periods, it creates psychological changes in the brain and damages organs such as the liver and kidneys. Continuous flooding of opioid receptors makes the brain less responsive and you’ll require higher doses of Percocet to fill the receptors and achieve the euphoric ‘high’.

Other long-term effects include liver damage, severe constipation, tolerance, urinary retention, osteoporosis, reduced testosterone levels, physical and psychological dependence and low immunity against diseases.

Physical Signs and Symptoms of Percocet Abuse and Addiction

Percocet is a fast-acting opioid that works to relieve moderate to severe pain in patients. It blocks pain receptors and has a direct impact on the central nervous system, altering how the brain and body respond to pain signals. When you abuse Percocet, you’ll experience symptoms such as dry mouth, fatigue, confusion, headache, vomiting, sweating, slow breathing and constipation.

Psychological signs and symptoms of Percocet Abuse and Addiction

Psychological symptoms of Percocet abuse include:

Paranoia: feelings and thoughts related to an imagined threat caused by changes to brain chemicals when you take large quantities of Percocet.

Confusion: when you abuse Percocet, there’s an overflow of dopamine in the brain which leads to confusion and loss of cognition or ability to concentrate.

Hallucinations: some people report seeing colours, lights and things that don’t really exist. You might see sounds or smell feelings or feel colors, as your senses become blurred.

Signs of Percocet Withdrawal and Overdose

Symptoms of Percocet overdose include:

  • Bluish tint to lips and fingernails
  • Coma
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Fainting
  • Clammy skin
  • Widening or narrowing of pupils
  • Limp muscles

Withdrawal signs occur with the sudden cessation of drug use and are both physical and psychological. In the early stages, you’ll experience body pains, sweating, goosebumps, twitching, flu-like symptoms, watery eyes, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Peak withdrawal manifests with restlessness, drug cravings, anxiety, irritability, insomnia, and worry.

The Social Impacts of Percocet

Percocet addiction is a serious problem, costing the US government billions of dollars. When you’re under the influence of opioids, you’re not fully in control of your actions. If you can’t access drugs, your family suffers as you become irritable, mean, violent and abusive. These actions usually lead to divorce and broken relationships with your loved ones and children.

You’ll experience financial problems, risk sexually transmitted diseases from injecting Percocet via shared needles and spend your entire savings feeding your drug habit. Your social circle shrinks until the only people in your life are your drug dealers and drug-using friends. Jobs, activities, physical grooming and health all take a back seat to Percocet addiction.

Inpatient Facilities vs. Outpatient Clinics

Inpatient and outpatient treatment for Percocet addiction both have their uses. Generally, inpatient treatment is more suited for a severe, repeat or long-term addiction because it provides an environment for enforced detox. Outpatient treatment acts as a follow-up to successful inpatient treatment but is not as successful alone. If you want a more effective way to treat your or your loved one's Percocet addiction, seek out a residential facility.

Do I Need a Residential Rehab Facility?

woman holds up white Percocet thinking if needs a residential rehab facilityDepending on the extent of your use of Percocet, an inpatient Percocet rehab center may not be completely necessary. It's important to distinguish between abuse and addiction. When you take prescription drugs more often than you should or for non-medical purposes, that is considered abuse. If you begin feeling a physical need to do so and a psychological preoccupation with getting more of the drug, you are likely addicted and need inpatient treatment.

Tolerance vs. Percocet Dependence

The human body builds up a tolerance to recurring drug dosages. Subsequent doses of a drug will have a decreased effect. When vital bodily functions are affected, the body becomes dependent on the drug's presence and experiences withdrawal symptoms when the drug is not present. Percocet dependency symptoms include vomiting, constipation, muscle aches and depression.

Are Percocet Rehabs Private and Confidential?

When you look for a treatment facility, it's natural to be worried about confidentiality. You don't want everyone knowing you are in treatment for a drug addiction. Drug rehab facilities tend to be located in out-of-the-way areas for maximum privacy. Your confidentiality is safe. As the patient, you can provide a list of people who are allowed to see your medical records. Patients in most luxury facilities have a private room. The only time staff members will enter the room is to check on you during the detox phase of your treatment or to take you to group therapy meetings.

How Long Does Inpatient Percocet Treatment Last?

Inpatient Percocet rehab centers offer a variety of program lengths depending on the severity of the addiction. The shortest duration you or a loved one can generally expect to stay is between 28 and 30 days. This constitutes a complete detox of the drug from the body so that it is no longer physically dependent. However, deep-seated addictions require more than detox to treat; the 60- and 90-day programs offered by many treatment centers feature cognitive behavioral therapy and counseling. This helps the patient determine the root causes of their drug abuse and healthy alternatives to addressing it.

Long Term Rehab Programs

Five hands folded together.Long-term rehab programs -- that take 120 to 180 days or longer -- can help in treating chronic alcohol and drug addiction by providing intensive and structured treatments, and by helping the addicted person to sustain abstinence and regain his or her normal life.

What Happens During Treatment?

The treatment process consists of five steps: intake, detox, addiction treatment, specialized treatment, and aftercare. Intake includes a basic physical checkup and assessment of existing psychological conditions, as well as the handling of financial details and getting the patient familiar with the facility. Detox is the enforced withdrawal from Percocet, usually aided by medications to counter dependency symptoms. Addiction treatment consists of behavioral therapy and addiction counseling. Sometimes the addiction treatment occurs alongside specialized treatment. Many people who have drug addiction also have mental disorders. Aftercare also includes ongoing psychiatric treatment to ensure the addiction is under control and that the patient adjusts to life outside the facility.

Paying for Percocet Addiction Treatment

Percocet Addiction TreatmentThe most important concern when seeking treatment is how you're going to pay for it. Inpatient treatment costs vary. Some programs operate free of charge to the consumer because the government funds them. Others can cost up to $30,000 per month. Unfortunately, many insurance programs will only pay for the detox phase of treatment, which can last up to a month. Finance plans that allow you to pay by the week or by the month, even after treatment has been completed, may be available.

Should I Travel or Stay Near Home?

If you're willing to travel to an inpatient Percocet rehab center, you have more options for treatment and can have a psychological "fresh start" free of triggers that you associate with Percocet abuse. Travel costs add to the expense of your treatment and you may lack the immediate support of nearby family members.

I Want to Find an Executive or Luxury Rehab Center

If work-related circumstances are stopping you or someone you love from getting care for a narcotic or prescription drug issue or behavioral addiction, executive rehabilitation centers may be what you need. By leveraging excellent drug, alcohol or behavioral addiction treatments with the freedom of computer and mobile access, a member of the management team can get support while staying relatively "plugged in".

Often, contemporary substance addiction and behavioral treatment programs provide the excellent amenities you would only expect in four and five-star hotels, with your comfort and well-being being the biggest goals. From fine linens and gym facilities to in-house massage therapy and private rooms, you can get the highest-quality drug, alcohol or behavioral addiction treatment for yourself or someone you love while enjoying the surroundings.

If you need help determining the perfect luxury treatment centers for Percocet addiction, dial our no-cost hotline as soon as you're able.

What Happens After?

Staying sober requires constant and continual effort after inpatient treatment. You or your loved one can attend support groups such as Narcotics Anonymous as part of outpatient treatment and aftercare.

Are You Ready?

Completing an inpatient Percocet rehab center is far from easy. In fact, 2006 data from SAMHSA reported that only 47 percent of patients successfully completed long-term residential treatment; this should tell you it requires commitment. If you recognize that a problem exists and are fully prepared to put forth the effort, you are ready for addiction treatment.

You May Want to Learn More About:

  • Interventions. Often, people who have an addiction don't want to admit it. You could stage an intervention with family and friends or hire a professional interventionist to help convince the addict that they have a problem.
  • Assessment/intake. The assessment and intake process at a Percocet treatment facility is in place in order to learn as much about the patient's addiction as possible. It is not meant to be a judgmental process.
  • Detox. The detox and withdrawal process from Percocet may not be pleasant. It is, however, essential.
  • Sober living. One of the best ways to ensure sober living is to remove as many of the temptations and associations with the addiction as possible. If that means ending a friendship or a relationship that enabled the addiction, it is worth the benefit.

It's Not Too Late

Seek treatment at an inpatient Percocet rehab center as soon as you can. In 2008, the Center for Disease Control reported 14,800 deaths from prescription painkiller overdose, which includes deaths from Percocet overdose. Call us today to be referred to a high-quality rehab center.

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